Pix4D Training (Las Vegas December 2019)

Description

Pix4D software allows users that do not possess specialized GIS-grade equipment to rapidly create relatively accurate models. This Pix4Dmapper workshop focused on an sUAS (drone) capture workflow, will introduce key Pix4Dmapper workflows and output.  This two-day session will showcase optimal camera settings, flight planning techniques, MTP identification, placement, safety considerations, and application-specific best practices.  Ultimately, you will learn how to best capturing RGB images and creating, managing, analyzing, and sharing 2D and 3D representations of reality.  A series of hands-on exercises will demonstrate how to effectively work with the Pix4Dmapper solution.

Expect some time in the field as we will put aircraft up and capture images/data from a local scene, and then stitch the data together in the classroom to best demonstrate best practices and procedures for optimal Pix4D output and delivery.

Attendees bring their own computers, and we’ll provide the Pix4D licenses for the duration of the training.

Please do not bring your own drone, we will have one for use with the class.

 

Objectives

  • sUAS setup for producing data for stitching
  • Produce accurate 2D and 3D georeferenced representations of reality, including orthomosaics and 3D models
  • Acquire accurate measurements
  • Using Manual Tie Points/MTP  and Ground Control Points (GCPs) for great accuracy
  • Share your deliverables with stakeholders

Agenda

  1. Introduction
  2. Multi-ray photogrammetry
  3. Collecting ground control points
  4. Planning a drone flight with the Pix4Dcapture mobile application
  5. Creating, processing, and measuring in a Pix4Dmapper Desktop project
  6. Creating, processing, and measuring in a Pix4Dmapper Cloud project
  7. Sharing Pix4Dmapper Desktop and Pix4Dmapper Cloud deliverables

 

This is a two-day workshop.

By | December 19th, 2019|0 Comments

Sundance Media Group at Commercial UAV Expo 2019

Save $100 on your conference pass with this discount code:   SAVE100CB

 

Commercial UAV Expo is North America’s leading trade show and conference for the commercial drone market, focusing on:

  • Surveying & Mapping
  • Civil Infrastructure
  • Process, Power & Utilities
  • Aggregates & Mining
  • Construction
  • Law Enforcement, Emergency Response & Search and Rescue (SAR)
  • Precision Agriculture

In the Conference Program, UAV industry experts share key insights into the issues asset owners face when implementing unmanned aerial systems (UAS), including systems selection and integration; developing enterprise workflows, guidelines and policies; data management and integration; and legal, safety and regulatory considerations. Plenary sessions and panels cover topics of interest to all end-users regardless of industry, while breakout sessions focus on UAV technology, applications and opportunities in the vertical markets listed above.

The international Exhibition includes drone airframe manufacturers, component and sensor manufacturers, software developers and service companies. Commercial UAV Expo has more exhibitors than any other commercial drone show.

 

Drop by our booth #1119  and say hello while you are at CommUAV2019!

We will have our AVOC on display along with products from Autel Drones, Digital Aerolus, DT Research, QYSEA FiFish, FoxFury, Pix4D, UASideKick, and Venom.  We will also have our friends from Westwind Unmanned in the booth with us, so please do stop in and get a tour!

 

By | October 28th, 2019|0 Comments

HIGH-INTENSITY SPOTLIGHT FOR AEE MACH™ 4 sUAS

## PRESS RELEASE ##

CONTACT INFORMATION:

AEE USA

Mike Kahn

Mike Kahn mkahn@aee.com

858.349.5246

RELEASE DATE:  10.24.2019

 

HIGH-INTENSITY SPOTLIGHT FOR AEE MACH™ 4 sUAS

 Transformative lighting for unmanned aircraft now available

 

 Dateline: [Las Vegas NV 10.25.2019] — Powered by FoxFury, AEE announces a 4-degree spotlight created for the AEE Mach™ 4 aircraft, providing users with a lighting system similar to helicopter-mounted spotlighting systems.

“This new lighting system powered by FoxFury is far beyond anything currently available in the unmanned industry,” said

Mike Kahn, CMO-AEE. “We are excited at the power, battery life, and the unmatched intensity of this new focused spotlight system.”

The 5000 lumen, 790 gram light is built from 6061-T6 aluminum with an IPX7 rating, and offers three intensities and a strobe function. The AEE Mach™ 4 aircraft is capable of approximately 30 minute flight with the spotlight powered by the airframe power supply due to high power efficiency.

“Our intent is to re-create the experience of a helicopter-mounted spotlight while taking into consideration the payload and power capability of an sUAS system” said Mario Cugini of FoxFury. “AEE is the first sUAS system to deploy this platform-agnostic spotlight product designed for virtually any midsized sUAS.”

The AEE Mach™ 4 sUAS system is manufactured for Public Safety, EMS, and inspection purposes, priced at $6499 with a standard 4K camera and $7499.00 with a 10X optical zoom camera. The Spotlight system is $799.00. The AEE Mach™ 4 is a point-to-point secure system with a military-grade ground station control, offering long flight time and/or heavy payload capability with retractable landing gear and

Douglas Spotted Eagle (Sundance Media Group) Director of Education says “Currently there is no product from any manufacturer which offers the intensity, battery life, and viability of in-air scene lighting for public safety, night inspection, or security purposes. We have had opportunity to beta-test this system and are exceptionally impressed with the Mach™ 4 platform carrying the FoxFury Spotlight. The focus, distance/intensity, ultra-efficient battery consumption, and heat dissipation goes well beyond anything we’ve seen in the unmanned industry.”

The AEE platform and FoxFury lighting system may be seen in action at CommUAV Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 29/30, and during the Night Flight programming from Sundance Media Group in the same week.

 

About AEE

AEE Aviation Technology Ltd., has been a leader in developing and manufacturing professional, advanced and reliable recording equipment since 1999. This includes UAV drone systems, action cameras such as the MagicCam and police recording equipment. A pioneer in combining wireless audio and video transmission as well as image and processing and intelligent control technologies, AEE products are proudly distributed worldwide in more than 55 countries and regions across major retail chain outlets. AEE Aviation Technology, Ltd., is based in Shenzhen, China with offices in Munich, Germany and Walnut, California, USA.

 

About FoxFury

Since 2003, FoxFury leads the world in cutting edge LED lighting solutions for enterprise use. The FoxFury Xtremium™ products focus on durability and speed, providing unique solutions and possibilities for first responders, unmanned pilots, enterprise professionals, and videographers in over 65 countries, distributed through the world’s largest distribution centers. FoxFury is a proud US company, with offices in Oceanside, CA.

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By | October 25th, 2019|Counter UAS, Drone, Drone Safety, Inspection, Law Enforcement, Night Flight, Public Safety, Real Estate, Regulations, Security, sUAS, sUAS Regulation, sUAS Safety, UAV, UAV Maintenance|Comments Off on HIGH-INTENSITY SPOTLIGHT FOR AEE MACH™ 4 sUAS

Sundance Media Group at InterDrone 2019

Drop by our booth #805 and say hello while you are at InterDrone 2019!

We will have our AVOC on display along with products from Autel Drones, Digital Aerolus, DT Research, QYSEA FiFish, FoxFury, Pix4D, UASideKick, and Venom.  We will also have our friends from Westwind Unmanned in the booth with us, so please do stop in and get a tour!

 

SMG Pre-Conference Workshops:

Cinematography Intensive with Douglas Spotted Eagle

 

Join Sundance Media Group (Booth 802 with our A.V.O.C) atInterDrone 2019 – September 3 – 6th, Las Vegas, NV

Save $100 on your conference pass with this discount code:

 

By | September 3rd, 2019|0 Comments

Pix4D Public Safety Workshop – Idaho Falls

Description

Kickstart your public safety workflow by learning about Pix4D’s recommended best practices when capturing and processing aerial and terrestrial images. This is a technical workshop organized in partnership with Pix4D for public safety professionals using drones to document vehicular collisions. The workshop will introduce you to creating accurate reconstructions and improving final results.

By registering for this workshop you are eligible to receive a 50% discount on the Pix4D Certification Exam.

Each day will start at 8:30am and finish by 5:00pm.

Level

Audience: Law enforcement or public safety professionals who are beginning to leverage drones and digital imaging for mapping and 3D modeling work.

Content: We will cover topics of basic to intermediate level and explain how to get the best results using the available processing options in Pix4Dmapper.

Workshop Content

Day 1 – Fundamental Concepts and General Processing Workflow w/GCPs

Lecture

  • The Theory and Science of Photogrammetry
  • Aerial Mapping RGB Image Acquisition: Best Practices
  • Georeferencing, Project Accuracy, and Ground Control: Best Practices
    • Acceptable – Image Geotags
    • Good- Scale Constraints
    • Better- Total Station, Local Coordinate systems
    • Best – Differential GPS/GNSS
  • Hardware specification recommendations
  • Project/scene accuracy verification

Lab Exercises

  • Creating a New Project in Pix4Dmapper Pro
  • Step 1: Initial Processing, Image Geotags only
    • Creating a Processing Area
    • Project measurement check
    • Reoptimizing the Project
    • Step 2: Point Cloud and Mesh
    • Working in the rayCloud
    • Classifying the Point Cloud
    • Using the Point Cloud Editor
    • Volume Calculations
    • Generating a 3D Mesh
  • Step 3: DSM, and Orthomosaic
    • Working in the Mosaic Editor
    • Generating an Orthomosaic, DSM and DTM
    • Contours and Outputs

Day 2 – Advanced Processing Techniques & Quality Report Review

Lecture

  • Review of Exercise 1 workflow/process
  • Review of a project quality report
  • Review of Pix4D processing options
  • Image acquisition of vertical structures: Best Practices
  • Terrestrial & mapping indoors: Best Practices
  • Pix4Dcapture

Lab Exercises

  • 3D Reconstruction of Vertical Structures
    • Applying Scale and Orientation Constraints
    • Making linear, area & volume measurements
    • Advanced Point Cloud Editing
    • Masking Images using Image Annotation
    • Applying the Clipping Box
    • Generating Video Animations
  • Merging Oblique and Nadir Imagery with Manual Tie Points

Day 3 – Instructor guided scene capture and project processing

Mission Planning

  • Scene Location scouting/size up (Secure location selected & provided by requesting Agency)
  • Establish project Georeferencing plan, leveraging available agency hardware.
    • Acceptable – Image Geotags
    • Good- Scale Constraints
    • Better- Total Station, Arbitrary/Local Coordinate system
    • Best – Differential GPS/GNSS with defined coordinate system
  • Review potential scene challenges & suggested workarounds
  • Image Acquisition of aerial & terrestrial data
    • Aerial Images
    • Terrestrial Images
    • Terrestrial video
  • Mapping Indoors: Best Practices (Optional in place of outdoor data collection)

Project Processing

  • Step 1, Automatic Tie Points & initial quality report generation
  • Applying georeferencing or Scale and Orientation Constraints
  • Merging Aerial and Terrestrial data
    • Establish Manual Tie Points across projects to be merged
    • Project Reoptimization
    • Create Merged Project
    • Review initial results
  • Point Cloud Editing
    • Clipping Box
    • Image Annotation
    • Point Cloud Classification
  • Pix4Dmapper outputs
    • Dense Point Cloud
    • 3D Mesh
    • Digital Surface Model
    • Orthomosaic
    • Contour Lines
    • Vector data extraction

FAQs

Q: What is a Pix4D User Workshop?
A: A Pix4D User Workshop is geared towards those who are getting started with Pix4D. We will address best practices for data acquisition, basic processing options, and workflows.

If you consider yourself an advanced user and you are interested in learning more about Pix4D software, please consider requesting a quote for a personal training.

Q: Should I bring my laptop?
A: Yes, Please ensure that you bring a laptop computer with the latest version of Pix4Dmapper installed to the User Workshop so that you may follow along during the hands-on exercises. Computers will not be provided on the day of the workshop.

We recommend that your computer is equipped with Windows, has at least 16 GB of RAM, 20 GB of free hard drive space, and a GPU that supports OpenGL 3.2. We also suggest that you bring a computer mouse to facilitate 3D navigation in the software. Computers running Mac OS are not supported at this time.

Q: Should I bring my drone?
A: Please DO NOT bring your drone to the workshop. This is a workshop about software. Under no circumstances will drones be permitted to fly during the workshop. DO NOT fly your drone at or around the workshop venue.

Q: Do I need a Pix4D software license to attend the workshop?
A: It is not necessary that you own a Pix4D software license to attend the workshop. If you do not own a license, you will be provided with a temporary one for the duration of the workshop.

Q: Is food provided at the Pix4D User Workshop?
A: Lunch, coffee/tea, snacks, and water will be provided onsite during the workshop.

Q: Can I attend the workshop remotely by WebEx, phone, or conference call?
A: The workshop must be attended in person and is not available for remote attendance.

Q: Are discounts available for educational institutions or non-profit organizations?
A: Educational discounts are available, please contact the Pix4D training team at training@pix4d.com for more information.

Q: What is the refund policy?
A: Orders may not be changed, modified, converted, or refunded once an order has been confirmed.

Q: How can I contact the workshop organizer if I have other questions?
A: Click “Contact” below, and send us an email. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

*By registering to the workshop, you accept the General Terms and Conditions of Sale of Pix4D and submit your information to the workshop organizer, who will use it to communicate with you regarding this event.

By | June 11th, 2019|0 Comments

Utah Dept. of Transportation – AASHTO Event

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is holding its Spring Meeting May 20 thru May 23rd.

Sundance Media Group will be showcasing drone technology as a new piece of their workflow on May 20th.  JOIN US in Park City to see the AVOC put to work with an Autel Evo, a Yuneec H520, FoxFury lights, and Pix4Dmapper software to bring it all together!

Details on registration:

http://aashtospringmeeting.org/

By | May 20th, 2019|0 Comments

CompTIA Communities & Councils Forum (CCF)

March 11, 2019 – March 13, 2019

CHICAGO, IL

Join us for our second annual CompTIA Communities & Councils Forum (CompTIA CCF).  New this year, CCF has been expanded to include members of CompTIA’s five Industry Advisory Councils, in addition to our seven U.S. Communities.  The objective of CompTIA CCF is to further the discussion and exploration of some of the most pressing issues and opportunities in the tech industry today and for members of the industry to formulate and collaborate on 2019 member initiatives that will have a positive impact on their market spaces.  Book your stay with us today and,

•             Participate in impactful, productive peer-to-peer meetings.

•             Network with top industry leaders.

•             Learn about the newest disruptive technologies.

•             Gain insightful thought-leadership.

•             Contribute to impactful industry initiatives.

•             Experience high level networking across multiple tech sectors.

Don’t miss this opportunity to engage with members of CompTIA’s communities including Emerging Technology, Advancing Women in Technology, Advancing Diversity in Technology, Technology Lifecycle Services, Future Leaders, IT Security, Managed Services, and members of our Industry Advisory Councils including Blockchain, Business Applications, Drones, Smart Cities and the Channel Advisory Board.

Event Dates: Monday, March 11 – Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Location: Chicago Marriott Downtown
540 North Michigan Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60611
(312) 836-0100
Room Rate: $170 plus tax

Reservation Cutoff Date: Monday, March 4th. Please be aware the room block may fill before that date.

AGENDA and PRICING

Who Should Attend?
This event is suitable for both the highly engaged member, and those new to CompTIA, and is a great way to connect with and leverage your industry trade association.

Contact:
Please contact Jaime Little at JLittle@comptia.org with any questions.

REGISTER NOW

By | February 28th, 2019|0 Comments

Government Expo – The National Drone Show 2018

Join Douglas Spotted Eagle at the for a full day sUAS Workshop

DC Post|Production Conference

A three-day training event, the DC Post | Production Conference is designed for professionals in TV, video, film, motion graphics and new media who wish to maximize their creativity and efficiency and improve their technical skills. Sessions are geared toward intermediate to advanced professionals and are presented theater-style with ample time for Q&A. The conference runs three full days in four parallel tracks.Gi

By | November 28th, 2018|0 Comments

Update? Calibrate!

Software and firmware run the world of UAS, and some developer/manufacturers offer/require frequent updates. Updates are a component of the maintenance process for any UAS and should be manually checked at minimum, every 30 days. We recommend that any old software/firmware versions be archived if possible, in the event of problems encountered with a new update. Rolling back software is a good option (when possible).  In addition to archiving old software/firmware versions (when possible), it is required by the FAA that any maintenance be logged. This includes logging any software/firmware updates to the aircraft system.

For many UAS pilots/operators, the process ends at the update. In fact, many updates occur in-field with automated software updates being required by some manufacturer/developers, so the pilot uses WiFi or cellular connection to update the aircraft, controller, software, or battery, just before flying the next mission. There have been many instances where the next action with the aircraft is to begin the planned mission.

This is a mistake.

Any time software or firmware on the aircraft, tablet, battery, IMU, or other component of the aircraft is implemented, it is recommended that the aircraft be re-calibrated. This step is frequently put aside in interests of time, and can result in disaster.

The issue this pilot had could have been avoided had the aircraft and system been recalibrated prior to flight. The aircraft is a total loss due to compass error.

Software/Firmware updates are not always reliable and in some cases, result in safety issues. Recalibration is an important step in mitigating risk due to unknown factors generated via the software/firmware update process.  Compass, accelerometer, etc all must be recalibrated. It is also a good idea to let the aircraft sit for a few minutes after powering up, to acquire all satellites prior to flight after a recalibration.

Take 5 to avoid issues. Calibrate after every software/firmware update, and log the calibration along with the notice of update/firmware changelog.  Your flights will be more safe and confident.

 

By | November 27th, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Update? Calibrate!

sUAS and the 1 October Tragedy

1 October, Harvest Festival, Route 91” are all synonymous to Nevadans and first responders, marking the America’s worst-yet mass shooting event when a lone gunman in a high-rise hotel opened fire on concert goers (the official investigatory title for this event is “1 October”).

  • 58 victims died of gunshot wounds.   
  • 422 individuals were injured by gunfire.  
  • Approximately 800 concert attendees were injured from gunfire, trampling, or other injury escaping the chaos.

Over the course of several hours following the shooting;  law enforcement, fire, EMS services, and civilians acted as one to manage the scene, transporting victims to local hospitals, secure the area, and begin collection of evidence.

sUAS ON SCENE

sUAS were a component of the evidence-gathering process under the direction of the FBI and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD).


LVMPD partnered with Nevada Highway Patrol’s Multidisciplinary Investigation and Reconstruction Team and their sUAS as part of the scene given the size of the site, and the amount of data that needed to be collected in a short period of time. An outside technical advisor was also brought in to advise and as a subject matter expert to ensure automated mission compliance and best-practices were observed in each of the missions.

THE AREA

The area to be captured via sUAS was just over 19 acres in overall size.

Two primary considerations for data integrity:

  • Corruption of image from shadow/moving sun in a static environment
  • Corruption of area from propwash

To combat the second issue, altitudes for flight were selected based on height and downdraft from the aircraft.

Two types of aircraft were evaluated, a quadcopter and a hexacopter. The hexacopter offered significantly less ground disturbance and was selected for the mission. It was also much quieter and was expected to not attract undue attention at any altitude, as there were many tourists along Las Vegas Boulevard.

In order to counter the primary issue it was determined that the area would be captured with three simultaneous flights, spatially and temporally separated.

The mission requirements shed light on several challenges.

  • The site is located in Class B airspace, less than 500’ from active aprons, taxiways, and runways.
  • An active investigation underway created concern for flight in areas over investigators inside the secured perimeter.
  • Time was at a premium, as this is an outdoor venue and weather/sun were actively degrading evidence.
  • Helicopters from tour companies were not observant of the in-place TFR, and were constantly in the airspace, trying to show the crime scene to tourists.
  • Completing the missions within a narrow window of time was a crucial element so as to obtain the best possible images at all four primary areas of flight without shadow distortion.
  • A delicate balance of altitude and resolution needed to be struck to not affect evidence while obtaining the highest resolution possible.


Plans for automated flight were discussed on-site with time of flight determined by angle of sun. Once plans were determined and drawn, FBI and LVMPD personnel approved the automated flight areas, altitudes, and speed of flight. The automated, map-mission flight paths were programmed into each of the three ground stations, and verified by all authorized parties.

Flight plans included 85% overlap, 70% sidelap, with 25% additional area beyond the festival grounds captured for clean edges at the optical extremes.

Altitudes of flight were 60’, 90’, 150’, and 200’ with 5’ altitude offsets from center

North and South areas began flight in an easterly/westerly direction, while the center area began northerly/southerly directions, 5’ lower than north/south units. Temporal, horizontal,  and vertical separation ensured no possibility of mid-air collision existed.

Road closures surrounding the crime scene provided a secure area for launch/recovery of aircraft with no traffic in the area, providing for VLOS over the 19 acre property.

Once safety checks and the normal pre-flight checks were completed, the aircraft were placed in the launch/recovery area and three aircraft were launched eight minutes apart.

During flight, the ground station controller provided real-time feedback indicating where images have been captured.  


Donning sterile suits required to enter the perimeter of the crime scene allowed for manual flight in specific areas where closer inspection of complicated surfaces were required. Manual flights inside the area perimeter provided insights not visible from the ground level. Examples of projectile impact were found on a power pole at the intersection of two streets, and two impact points were discovered in the relay tower speakers that had not previously been found.

Original image courtesy of Las Vegas Review/Journal/modified by author

These areas were complicated for UAS flight, crossed with guy wires for tower stability, speaker cables strung across steel rigging, lighting instruments, hot, black metal in turbulent winds in areas where three observers were placed to assist the pilot in flying in these tight, physically and optically challenging spaces around the stage, speaker towers, food court/tents, billboard signage, and fence perimeters.

Original image courtesy of Las Vegas Review/Journal/modified by author

Following the nine flights (3×3) over the main grounds, a separate mission was executed over the abandoned hotel that extends into the entertainment property. These missions were a combination of manual inspection when potential evidence was observed, and automated mapping flights to capture the at-present data. In this particular instance, the benefits of the hexacopter were appreciated; turbulent ground winds, rotors, powerlines, palm trees, a confined area, and limited physical access each contributed to the challenges of this series of missions. VLOS was maintained with the observer standing on the rear of a patrol vehicle due to a high, covered fence and a limited launch area.


Three automated group flights at three altitudes, separate stage and hotel flights, manual flight inside the perimeter captured over 6,000 images. These images were input to two dimensional and three dimensional software applications for orthagonal mapping and 3D modelling. Survey markings were taken from previously operated TotalStation sites and physical objects used as GCP.

The author has not seen the final results from the orthogrammatic image render. The planned workflow is to render each of the separate areas for consistent GSD, added into a master render for each altitude. Once the flights were complete, memory cards were handed over to the federal agency.

This was very much a team effort. ATC, McCarran Airport, FAA, City of Las Vegas, Department of Public Safety, FBI, local subject matter expert, and other investigative agencies worked within a highly communicative environment to ensure no evidence was compromised, that all personnel were aware of each others activities, data/areas logged for clarity, and flights indicated in written, pictorial, and telemetry formats were shared between teams.

 

LOOKING BACK

Until October 1, the World Trade Center had been the largest physical crime scene in America with a total area of approximately seven and a half acres. 1 October is nearly three times in size.  Due to persons involved with both scenes, availability of data and cost from the two events may be compared and examined to gain an understanding of technical and operational improvements over the past 17 years.

 

In the last week of September, 2001, a Super Twin Otter with several sensor systems was called up to capture data from the World Trade Center scene.

Flying orbital and grid patterns over the course of five days, significant amounts of data were collected for analysis by multiple agencies.

Costs were reported over 1.5M, including fuel, personnel, equipment, and time.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Although the images captured are still classified, data from surrounding, unrelated areas demonstrate the poor quality of image capture. By comparison with modern technology, the images are of limited value, offering little useful data (by comparison).

The time, cost, labor, headcount, and quality of data are all areas where UAV have proven their value to law enforcement, and in this case, costing $1.5M vs $15,000 (cost of three aircraft, batteries, and accessories), while providing incalculably greater value through images that may be digitally shared in 2D, 3D form, annotated, analysed simultaneously by multiple agencies and investigators.

SUMMARY

The value of sUAS proved itself through rapid access to available airspace, speed of operation, quality of data, cost of operation, ability of continuous flight, noise and traffic impact on the surrounding area and area of investigation, speed to solution, instant verification of data capture and image quality, ability to simultaneously capture multiple areas, and most importantly, safety to all persons involved in the acquisition of data,  processing and investigation of the 1 October scene.